Speaking Spanish is a wonderful thing, but did you know that it is actually beneficial to your health? NBC News reported that speaking a second language could help offset Dementia later on in life. Seriously!
1. It Can Delay the Chances of Dementia
Speaking Spanish can save your life! Being bilingual can slow down the start of three types of dementia – including Alzheimer’s disease – by an average of 4.5 years, reports NBC News. By speaking English and Spanish, you have to actively select one language and deactivate the other you are not using. The amount of attention this takes is what keeps your brain nimble and can ward off not only Alzhemier’s, but frontotemporal dementia and vascular dementia.
2. It Keeps Your Brain Strong
Being bilingual builds up a strong front cortex, which allows for “cognitive flexibility,” meaning you are able to to go along with new or unexpected circumstances faster than someone who only speaks one language. The Huffington Post reported that based on findings from The Journal of Neuroscience these results “suggest that lifelong bilingualism may exert its strongest benefits on the functioning of frontal brain regions in aging.”
3. It Gives Your Brain a Workout
Stretch that front cortex! Get those cognitive muscles warmed up! There is evidence suggesting that in a bilinguals brain both language systems are active even when they are only using one language. This can lead to situations where one system gets in the other’s way, according to The New York Times. This obstruction isn’t exactly a wrench in the plan, but a blessing in disguise. It forces your brain to learn and resolve inner conflicts, giving your brain a healthy daily workout.
4. It Can Improve Your English (And Other Language Skills)
If you do not already speak Spanish, learning it could beneficial to your English! By learning a foreign language your attention is drawn to the mechanics of that language, like grammar, conjugations, and sentence structure. While becoming aware of how the Spanish language is built, it is suggested that you will in turn focus more on your own native tongue’s mechanics. Learning these news skills can make you a more attentive listener, writer and speaker.
5. It Helps You Become a Better Multitasker
Being bilingual sort of makes you a juggler, which makes you a better multitasker! According to a study from the Pennsylvania State University, this is because you can easily switch between two different structures with little to no struggle. In the study, during a driving simulation, participants where given separate tasks to distract them, but those who spoke two languages had fewer errors than those who only spoke one.
6. It Helps You Raising a More Advanced, Well-Rounded Child
There are magnitudes of benefits for teaching your niño how to speak Spanish. Children have the capacity to learn multiple languages, so teach your child while they’re young! According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, being bilingual will allow your child to use information in new ways, come up with solutions to problems, develop good listening skills, and connect well with others.
7. It Allows You To Be a Helpful Person
Not all of the benefits of speaking Spanish are related to your health and well being, some are also some gratifying paybacks! Speaking Spanish and English gives you the opportunity to be a good Samaritan! If there is a Spanish-speaking person in need, you can assist them with your English language skills and vice versa. By assisting someone else in need, your Spanish speaking ability has helped you be better person without even thinking twice!
8. It Makes Your Brain Work More Efficiently
Accoriding to Today, The Journal of Neuroscience released a study that explains how a middle aged person can have mental reactions are so sharp – because they’re bilingual! Your bilingual brain works more efficiently than a person who only speaks one language. These benefits seem to come in direct relation to cognitive control. Speaking Spanish now can help you switch from task to task, without slowing down in the future. Do future self a favorite, if you don’t speak Spanish now, and learn it!
9. It Improves Your Academic Skills
Speaking Spanish makes you smarter! Research has shown that being bilingual individuals have outperformed monolingual people in competitive examinations. Already known two languages, bilinguals find it easier to tackle a third or fourth language, which makes them better in immersion programs. They also are capable of understanding and appreciating literature in both languages more than a monolingual person would.
10. It Helps You Become a Better Worker
Knowing how to speak Spanish, or learning it, will make you a more viable member of the business world. When looking for employment, having Spanish on your resume will make you stand out more than someone who only speaks one language. Being bilingual makes you more marketable and it will open up more career paths for you. When you get to a point in your career where you’re in charge, you’ll be thankful you know Spanish when it comes to communicating with those employees, co-workers, clients, and consumers who speak Spanish. You will have an edge over the competition because you can reach a larger number of people.
About the Author
Ashley Quintana is the co-founder and managing partner at Bridges Strategies. A graduate of Oklahoma State University’s media management master’s program, Ashley co-founded Bridges Strategies with a $10,000 investment. Two years later, the bootstrapped company grossed almost one million dollars and grew to a team of eight. In her role, she develops, leads and executes digital marketing strategies for the company’s growing client base.